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HIPPA security rules

Great Lakes Imaging would like to inform you of the new HIPPA security rules:

The HIPAA Security Rule (45 C.F.R. § 164.308 (a)(5)(ii)(B) requires that all software used by Covered Entities and Business Associates be kept current and up to date with updates from the software vendor. If a vendor no longer supports a software program, it cannot be used. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will end all support for Windows 7. After that date, simply having a Windows 7 computer on your network will be a HIPAA violation. Windows 7 HIPPA compliance won’t be possible. At Great Lakes Imaging we can update your computer to Windows 10.

From Microsoft’s Windows 7 Web page:

Support for Windows 7 is ending

All good things must come to an end, even Windows 7. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7. But you can keep the good times rolling by moving to Windows 10.

Is Windows 7 HIPAA Compliance still possible?

Yes, if you are using Windows 7 now, you can still achieve compliance.  However, after January 14th, 2020 that won’t be possible. As stated above, even having a single Windows 7 computer on your network at the time will be an instant violation of HIPAA regulations. Extended support for Windows 7 will end and no new updates will be available from Microsoft. This includes updates for any new security holes that are found in Windows 7 after that date. Call or email Great Lakes Imaging for pricing to upgrade to Windows 10.

Because of its popularity, many Covered Entities and Business Associates are still using Windows 7. Migrating a large number of computers will take time and planning. The main issue will be ensuring it’s done before attesting for Meaningful Use.

No meaningful use using Windows 7

Where this becomes very serious is when a Covered Entity goes to attest under MIPS for Meaningful Use. Meaningful Use requires that Covered Entities also attest that they are HIPAA compliant. If a Covered Entity is using a Windows 7 computer next year and goes to attest, this will be an issue. Especially since the entity is stating they are compliant when it’s not possible that they are.

What do you need to do?

Here are some steps you can follow to get migrated over to Microsoft Windows 10 and remain in HIPAA compliance. Call or email Great Lakes Imaging, and let us help you through the process.

  1. Perform a Risk Assessment: If you haven’t already done so, do a thorough Risk Assessment of your practice (or business). This will reveal all of the computers that are running Windows 7.
  2. Assess your current hardware: Will you need new hardware? If so, how will you go about purchasing them? If your current computers will be able to handle Windows 10, then you can move forward.
  3. Plan your Windows 10 Migration: If you need to purchase new computers, get them ordered. If your computers are good, then download the Windows 10 update. Microsoft doesn’t publish it widely, but you can still upgrade to Windows 10 at no charge if you are using Windows 7.
  4. Dispose of old Windows 7 computers: Your old Windows 7 computers will still have Protected Health Information on them. The hard drives need to be wiped with a secure wipe method before you dispose of them. If you engage an outside service, make sure they provide you with a certification of destruction to add to your own HIPAA documentation. This will validate that you performed your due diligence to destroy the PHI that may have been on the old hard drives.

Other Microsoft software that is not HIPAA compliant

If you are one of the 5% still using Windows XP, its time to upgrade. Support for Windows XP ended in 2014. Windows XP was such a stable and good operating system, very much like Windows 7, that many people didn’t want to leave it. However, there have been no security updates for Windows XP for many years and it cannot be considered safe. On top of that, it is very much a HIPAA violation.

Windows Vista, one of Microsoft’s least popular operating systems, is used less than 1% of the time. Its support ended in April 2017. If you are still using Vista, this is a HIPAA violation.

Windows 8 was a popular operating system and it still holds 5% of the market. Extended support for Windows 8 will be available until 2023.

Another issue waiting to bite practices and their business associates will be servers running Windows Server 2003 and 2008. Windows Server 2003 was retired in 2015 and Windows 2008 will be retired at the same time as Windows 7, January 14, 2020. Servers are often used for longer periods than workstations and because of this, they are forgotten. If you are using a server with either of these operating systems, it is time to upgrade. The issue is, however, that the servers will also likely need to be replaced. Servers that old won’t be able to run the newer Microsoft operating systems for servers. Installing a new server is a much more prolonged process than changing your workstations. It involves relocating practice management and EMR data, setting up a new domain for your office and setting up security for compliance. Allow Great Lakes Imaging to help you become Hippa compliant.

Summary

The HIPAA Security Rule requires that all Covered Entities or Business Associates use software that is supported by the vendor. If the software is no longer supported, it is not HIPAA compliant. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will retire support for Windows 7, one of its most popular operating systems. If your practice (or business for Business Associates) is still using Windows 7 on your network, the time is now to start planning your migration to Windows 10. 2020 is just a few months away and will be here soon enough. Start taking action now so that you won’t have a Windows 7 HIPAA compliance issue in your practice. Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free for users of Windows 7, so there is no reason not to upgrade. If you are still using Windows 7 after January 14, 2020, and attest for MIPS, then you will have another issue since part of attesting is stating your HIPAA compliance.

Contact us today to get Hippa compliant.

Phone:586-268-9200

Email: info@greatlakesimaging.com

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How do Hospitals Sanitize and Sterilize Equipment in MI?

Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) aren’t nearly as frequent now as they were before Joseph Lister developed antiseptics in response to Louis Pasteur’s germ theory. In Lister’s day, post-operative fatalities were common (up to 50 percent of amputee patients alone). While lower — the CDC estimates 1 in 31 patients will develop an HAI* — the number is still higher than it should be. Cleaning, disinfection, sanitization, and sterilization each have a part to play in making that happen, and medical equipment supplies from Great Lakes Imaging can help.

Why Decontamination is Important

Infections are hardly limited to a hospital setting, nor to surgery. Airborne illnesses like COVID and influenza can be transmitted in clinical settings. So too can other bacterial and viral pathogens, spread via exam tables, chiropractic tables, instruments, and examination equipment. These illnesses can prolong recovery time, cause severe complications, or in extreme cases, even lead to the death of patients.

Effective decontamination procedures improve patient outcomes. Just as importantly, they decrease practices’ liability risk and chances of a costly malpractice suit in the process.

Decontamination Definitions and Differences

While the broad goal of maintaining cleanliness in order to reduce the risk of infection, complications, and death is common among each of these procedures, they differ in their methods, tools, and the time taken.

  • Cleaning uses detergents or enzymes to reduce the amount of soil or residue (such as dried blood and other bodily fluids) on a surface.
  • Sanitization reduces the number of pathogens on a surface, thereby reducing the chance of sickness.
  • Disinfection aims to kill pathogens like bacteria and viruses, rather than simply reducing their number. This requires stronger chemicals, and longer exposure periods, but may still leave some organisms (like spores) behind.
  • Sterilization, in contrast to the other methods mentioned, seeks to eliminate all pathogens on a given surface, and may use steam or dry heat, pressure, and chemicals (vaporized hydrogen peroxide, bleach, ozone, or plasma gas among them) either separately or in combination.

Disinfection and Sanitization Processes

The CDC identifies three categories of instruments, each with its own decontamination guidelines.

  • Critical instruments penetrate soft tissue or bone, or come into contact with the bloodstream. These instruments, including scalers, scalpels, forceps, and surgical drill burs and bits, should be considered single-use items in the absence of contrary guidance from the manufacturer.
  • Semi-critical instruments may come into contact with non-intact skin or mucous membranes. This includes impression trays, intra-oral cameras, and radiography sensors, which should all be sterilized after every use.
  • Non-critical devices are strictly for external use, and will generally only come into contact with intact skin. Blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, x-ray heads, exam tables, and bed rails are among the many items falling into this category, and they’re suitable for reuse after they have been properly decontaminated.

It’s not uncommon to work through multiple steps in sequence, using cleaning, then sanitization, as preliminary steps to either disinfection or sterilization. This is done to remove larger debris that could interfere with the killing of pathogens.

Because of the types of processes and chemicals used, cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection are not typically suited to instruments that will be used in surgery, endoscopy, dental procedures, and the like; these chemicals, like pesticides, can cause illness or injury to patients if ingested or used internally. However, they’re very well-suited to keeping exam tables, chiropractic tables, and other high-contact surfaces safer for your patients.

Products Used for Decontamination

While Great Lakes Imaging specializes in imaging equipment across a wide range of disciplines — from podiatry to veterinary medicine to dentistry — we also recognize the needs that our clients have for effective decontamination. For this reason, we offer suitable solutions for the disinfection of chiropractic tables, x-ray and ultrasound equipment, podiatry equipment, and more. For a consultation on your practice’s needs — from patient safety to custom design services — get in touch today.

*Centers for Disease Control, HAI Data

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What is the Difference Between an MRI & CT Scan in MI

X-rays revolutionized medicine, giving doctors and diagnosticians new understanding of the human body and the ability to make more accurate diagnoses without dangerous exploratory surgery. Useful though they may be, they have their limitations. Newer technologies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) scans allow for a degree of resolution and accuracy that x-rays cannot match. But what’s the difference between an MRI and a CT scan? How do they work, and which tool is best suited to which diagnostic uses? And what kind of radiation shielding installations would you need in both cases?

What is a CT Scan?

A CT scan, also known as a CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) scan, uses x-rays, but it’s not the same as traditional x-ray equipment. Where an x-ray presents a two-dimensional view of the area studied, and is best suited to studying higher-density tissue like bone, a CT scan is capable of detailed renderings of soft tissue with multiple cross-sections. The use of x-rays requires the installation of medical radiation shielding.

CT Scan Uses

CT scans are useful for a wide range of conditions.

  • Circulation problems, from heart disease to aneurysms and arterial blockages
  • Brain conditions like calcification, tumors, and hemorrhaging
  • Lung ailments like cancer, emphysema, or a collapsed lung
  • Complex skeletal problems like complex fractures or spinal cord injury
  • Abnormalities in the abdomen or urinary tract

What is an MRI?

Like a CT scan, an MRI is capable of detailed study of the body in three-dimensional space. However, unlike a CT scan, an MRI does not rely on x-rays. Instead, it uses radio waves in conjunction with strong magnets to scan the body. This makes an MRI a better tool for diagnostics where bones would block soft tissue. While radiation shielding isn’t an issue, the strong magnets in use mean that metal instruments and other medical supplies — like oxygen tanks — need to be kept away from the machine.

MRI Uses

MRIs find use in complex diagnostics.

  • Brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s, MS, stroke, and aneurysms
  • The diagnosis of breast cancer, and the study of tumors and other cancerous masses
  • Circulatory system problems like past damage from stroke and heart attack, or the onset of atherosclerosis
  • Liver damage, including cancer and cirrhosis
  • Complex bone problems that also involve ligaments, tendons, and soft tissue
  • Intestinal disorders like ulcerative colitis, IBS, and IBD

MRI vs CT Scan: Pros and Cons

CT scans have the advantage of lower cost, higher speed, and quieter operation. While not as detailed, that rapidity can be a literal lifesaver in emergency situations, such as a suspected stroke.

MRI scans’ confined space and slower speeds can cause stress for some individuals; open MRIs can be helpful in this regard, but they won’t be quite as detailed. It’s also worth noting that MRIs can cause severe internal injuries with the presence of metal in the body (i.e., due to implants) when the magnets are in use. The slower speed has its advantages, however, not least of which is a higher degree of detail. They are also useful in applications where x-rays or CT scans could be blocked by the presence of bone.

Medical Imaging Equipment for Michigan — and Beyond

From radiation shielding to custom medical equipment solutions, Great Lakes Imaging covers the diagnostic and treatment needs of a wide range of Michigan medical practices. DVMs, chiropractors, dentists, general practitioners and more have relied on our knowledge and experience. See how we can help you — call us today!

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ErgoStyle Elevating HYLO Table

Your chiropractic practice evolves with time, knowledge, and experience. But is your chiropractic table keeping pace? The ErgoStyle Elevating HYLO table is popular in chiropractic for its capability to evolve and grow with your practice.

Why an ErgoStyle Elevating HYLO Table?

Great Lakes Imaging has many different options for chiropractic equipment, including benches with fixed or tilt headpieces, flexion tables, elevation tables, and HYLOs. The ErgoStyle Elevating HYLO Table is unique in that it combines elements of each of these, making it a versatile near all-in-one solution for chiropractic offices.

ErgoStyle Elevating HYLO Table Features and Benefits

This table offers hydraulics that are smooth and precise, a definite plus whether you’re taking advantage of its elevation (up to 30 inches) or its tilting capabilities (up to 63 degrees). Because the foot plate tucks away, you have full and easy access to the end of the table. And while it’s extremely useful even in its base configuration, its modular construction encourages modifications and upgrades (including manual drops, various adjustable headpieces, breakaway chest, and more). These let you adjust the table to your techniques, patient needs, and practice, rather than making a series of uncomfortable compromises.

The precise positioning and customization add up to a more ergonomic approach to adjustments, a boon to chiropractors who find themselves achy, stiff, and in need of an adjustment themselves after a day’s worth of seeing patients. But those you care for benefit as well, since the ErgoStyle Elevating Hylo Table provides improved access for patients, including better accessibility for those with compromised mobility.

ErgoStyle Elevating HYLO Table Configurations

Available in either 120V (ErgoStyle Elevating HYLO Table EH9400) or 230V (ErgoStyle Elevating HYLO Table EH9420), the ErgoStyle Elevating HYLO Table offers a robust list of standard features.

Key Features

Electric elevation from 20-30″

Tilting from 0 to 63 degrees

Single foot pedal for elevation & HYLO

Tilting headpiece with adjustable sewn face cushions

22.5″ wide seamless cushions with multi-density foam

Locking 6″ extending ankle rest

Stationary chest

Fixed pelvic section

Paper roll holder and cutter

Durable powder coat finish

ADA compliant

Specifications

Weight capacity: 400 lbs.

Overall dimensions: 70″L x 28″W x 20-30″H

Cushion width: 22.5″W

Rated voltage: 120V

Rated frequency: 60Hz

Current: 4.5 Amps

Duty cycle: Intermittent-Max: 2 Minutes On, 18 Minutes Off

ErgoStyle Elevating HYLO Table Options

Headpiece Options

ES95002 – Tilt, Forward Drop, Toggle Drop, Adjustable Face Cushions

ES95003 – Tilt, Elevation, Adjustable Face Cushions

ES95004 – Tilt, Elevation, Forward Drop, Toggle Drop, Adjustable Face Cushions

ES95010 – Tilt, Cervical Distraction, Adjustable Face Cushions

ES95011 – Tilt, Forward Drop, Toggle Drop, Cervical Distraction, Adjustable Cushions

ES95012 – Tilt, Elevation, Forward Drop, Toggle Drop, Cervical Distraction, Adjustable Cushions

ES95013 – Tilt, Elevation, Cervical Distraction, Adjustable Face Cushions

E4423 – 14° Lateral Flexion (Available on all headpiece options)

Chest Piece Options

ES95005 – Breakaway, Elevating Chest with Dual Side Control

Pelvic Options

ES95015 – Elevating Pelvic Section

Drop Options

ES58353 – Thoracic Manual Drop

ES58354 – Lumbar Manual Drop

ES58355 – Pelvic Manual Drop

Questions about sales, chiropractic equipment maintenance, and repairs? Get expert advice from the experienced team at Great Lakes Imaging!

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Why is Lead a Good Radiation Shield? A Detroit Radiologist Explains

An effective diagnostic and treatment tool, x-rays can nonetheless pose dangers to technicians and patients alike. Lead shielding provides effective protection.

Like so many other discoveries, x-rays were an accident. But Wilhelm Roentgen’s serendipitous find would revolutionize diagnostics, cancer treatment, and even heavy industry in the century ahead. The rise of radioisotopes coincided with a better understanding of the dangers of ionizing radiation, bringing a demand for shielding to protect radiographers and patients alike. And one of the oldest tools in the profession — lead — remains one of the best. Why is lead and radiation shielding so important, and why is lead a good radiation shield in Detroit medical practices? Great Lakes Imaging has answers.

How X-Rays Work

The initial discovery of x-rays was an accidental side effect of experiments on cathode ray tubes similar to those found for many years in televisions and computer monitors. These tubes give off low levels of radiation that could, in turn, be combined with a capture medium to provide images as that radiation penetrates soft tissue.

X-rays became more powerful when radioisotopes like technetium, cobalt, and radium, with their higher energy and greater penetrative ability, came into common use. Although these isotopes would broaden the uses and accuracy of x-rays, they’re just as capable of harming as helping, as many early researchers found out the hard way after suffering injuries or succumbing to cancer and other illnesses.

Harmful Side Effects of Radiation Exposure

Ionizing radiation of the type used for x-rays has a wide variety of adverse health effects, some of which can take place at the level of an individual’s DNA. These effects can be seen after a single high-dose event, or may build up over time with repeated low-level exposure. Among them are:

  • Skin burns
  • Acute radiation exposure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Risk of infertility and birth defects
  • Developmental delays and cell damage for younger patients

As the EPA points out, our bodies can repair some of this damage in the event of limited exposure (e.g., the dose delivered by a diagnostic x-ray), but the higher or more frequent the dose, the more difficult that becomes. That’s why shielding is extremely important for x-ray technicians and patients alike.

How Does Lead Shield Radiation?

Another EPA resource points to three important factors for x-ray safety.

  • Distance: If you’re a fair distance from a flame, you won’t feel its heat the same as you would if you were in close proximity. Ionizing radiation also has a limited “range” relative to its source, but of course a diagnostician can’t rely on distance while taking x-rays.
  • Time: This is the easiest variable to control with regard to exposure; experience, accuracy, and proper technique so that you’re getting the right diagnostic image on the first try means fewer retakes and lower exposure for patients and technicians alike.
  • Shielding: Concrete, earthen barriers, water, or a thin layer of metal can stop alpha and beta particles, and if the barrier is sufficient these same materials can inhibit or stop gamma radiation and x-rays as well. That’s fine if you’re building a bomb shelter in your basement, but it’s hardly practical for a clinical setting.

Lead makes an excellent shield because of its high density. That allows a relatively small amount of lead to stop errant x-rays and other types of radiation dead in its tracks. It’s also far more practical, since it can be fashioned into a lead apron, or the types of lead shielding we install in doctors’ offices (including shielding for portable x-ray equipment and for stationary enclosures) is much more effective than the alternatives. Among our solutions:

  • Lead glass utilized for viewing
  • Stationary or mobile barriers to stand behind
  • Lead curtains for temporary partitions
  • Lead walls for permanent x-ray rooms

Of course, an effective shielding design goes deeper than simply protecting against background radiation. It needs to integrate into your practice, helping your staff and patients without hindering workflow. That’s why our lead shielding installations are just one facet of a comprehensive approach to system design that delivers the medical imaging equipment you need, but also the means to use it safely and effectively. For shielding that exceeds standards and expectations alike, get in touch with Great Lakes Imaging.

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Custom Medical Equipment Solutions

Great Lakes Imaging serves the needs of a diverse range of medical practices when it’s time for medical equipment supplies near Detroit. More than 25 years’ experience has taught us that our clients’ practices are as diverse and unique as the patients they serve, calling for a high degree of customization that serves your needs and theirs alike. We are dedicated to helping you figure out what you need, then giving you the tools and services to achieve it.

Medical Imaging Solutions

Technicians’ lives would no doubt be easier if one imaging machine could cover every need. But you, and we, know that isn’t the case. That’s why we offer custom digital imaging systems that provide high resolution and plenty of control over what you see. From digital combinations to C-Arm devices, we partner with you to design and medical equipment installations tailored to your practice and your needs.

Chiropractic Tables and Equipment

Today’s chiropractic care combines high-touch with high-tech. The chiropractic table remains the backbone of your practice, but we know many chiropractors’ treatment modalities are broader and more creative. That’s why we offer a wide range of both new and used chiropractic tables and equipment, ensuring you can find the best fit for your practice.

As with our imaging solutions, we go the extra mile for chiropractors as well. You can reupholster a chiropractic table to refresh it and give it a new lease on life, or even add custom embroidery that brings a personal touch to your practice. That attention to detail — ours and yours alike — helps to ensure patient loyalty.

The Advantage to Custom Equipment and Medical Supplies

Custom medical equipment and medical supplies are the backbone of any new practice or medical office renovation. Among the advantages you’ll realize:

  • Improved accuracy and image quality means less need for retakes
  • Mobile solutions enable you to do more in smaller or constrained spaces
  • Custom shielding keeps technicians and staff safe
  • Layouts customized to your space ensure smooth workflow
  • Improved workflow, in turn, creates efficiency that improves patient experience and outcomes

Ongoing Support from Great Lakes Imaging

More than sales and installation, Great Lakes Imaging is home to an experienced group of technicians who support your custom medical equipment when you need it. Our familiarity with different product lines lets us fix the problem quickly and correctly.

We offer repairs for custom medical equipment solutions and tables. Equally important, we provide preventative maintenance services that stave off future problems.

Remote access allows our IT specialists to log in and troubleshoot problems  without visiting your office. We can solve almost any issue without taking up space and valuable time with on-site visits.

Running a medical practice, regardless of your specialty, should never feel like trying to do more with less. It’s about finding the right equipment and supplies to leverage all you’ve learned from a lifetime of care. To find out more about what our custom medical equipment solutions can bring to your office, contact Great Lakes Imaging and one of our knowledgeable sales representatives will be in touch for a consultation.

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Ultrasound Technology Advances into AI

Ultrasound Technology AI

Originally developed to detect flaws and damage in ship hulls, ultrasound was first used as a diagnostic tool by an obstetrician in Glasgow in 1956. That same year, the first artificial intelligence (AI) symposium convened at Dartmouth College. It may have taken some time, but these seemingly unrelated developments are finally converging with the first AI-enabled clinical ultrasound technology. Called Caption AI, it’s nothing less than a quantum leap forward in ultrasound equipment. Here, we answer some of the questions surrounding it.

How Does it Work?

Caption AI is a product of medical AI company Caption Health. It’s a subscription-based AI software that combines guidance in real time, automated quality assurance, and also enhanced imaging interpretation when used with compatible ultrasound hardware.

Is It Safe?

In a word, yes. Caption AI was subjected to clinical trials at Minneapolis Heart Institute at Alina Health as well as Northwestern Medicine. Peer-reviewed results are forthcoming, but in the meantime, it’s interesting to note that the users in these trials weren’t even ultrasound technicians; they were registered nurses, and the system was still able to return effective results.

What Are the Benefits of AI in Ultrasound?

Because of its speed and accuracy in image acquisition, Caption AI is expected to be uniquely suited for critical care units and emergency rooms. It’s capable of use in any setting that currently takes advantage of ultrasound, from cardiology to obstetrics. And from triage to diagnostics and treatment, the software should also help both to standardize and to improve patient care as well.

What Does the FDA Say?

Caption AI’s software — including its automated interpretation capabilities — is FDA-cleared for adult patients.

When Will This Be Available?

Caption AI pre-orders are currently open, and the first deliveries to accredited healthcare providers are expected to take place in Q3 2020.

Why AI Matters for Ultrasound

In an editorial that ran in last year’s issue of Health Management, Dr. Ian A. Weissman examined the role of AI in healthcare. Was it help, or hype? Dr. Weissman came down in the former camp, taking note of the tension between value-based and volume-based medicine and noting:

The days of having time to be able to review the patients’ chart, compare old films, speak to the referring physician when necessary, communicate critical findings to the patient in a timely fashion, and be available to answer questions are falling away with the increasing complexity of imaging, and the multifactorial workload challenges.

In other words, AI isn’t just about accuracy; it’s also about time, namely carving enough of it out of one’s day to alleviate some of the stress on key economic performance metrics. Because of the speed, accuracy, and diagnostic assistance it affords, AI has an important role to play in bringing the human element back into the equation for imaging technicians, the doctors with whom they work, and the patients they serve.

At Great Lakes Imaging, we’re encouraged by any development that increases efficiency while improving patient outcomes. Even at this early date, it’s apparent that Caption AI is a game-changer whose benefits will only grow as it gains traction in daily use. To find out more about this and other healthcare supplies and equipment, contact us today.

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Five Features That Make the Difference in Chiropractic Tables

Chiropractic Tables

However, we’re also well aware that the old adage, “You get what you pay for,” is amply apparent in your chiropractic office. Of all the medical equipment in your examination room, few things—save for the chiropractor’s experience and care—are as important as a high-quality chiropractic table.

Width and Firmness

Firm cushions offer support and make moving patients much easier. With that said, some patients prefer the feel of softer cushions. With a bit of research, it’s possible to find a happy medium that keeps you and your patients happy. Table width is also a consideration, since a table that’s too narrow will leave a patient feeling unsupported and prone to moving around to find a more comfortable position; that, in turn, can aggravate muscle pain and pinched nerves, making your job more difficult. Choose wisely!

Vertical Lift

Just as patients come in all shapes and sizes, so too do doctors of chiropractic. A chiropractic table with vertical lift capability always ensures an optimal adjustment height regardless of the size of either the chiropractor or their patient. This ensures that whether you’re conducting a cervical adjustment, a side posture adjustment, guiding a patient through a hamstring stretch, or ensuring they can dismount the table easily, the perfect height is easy to dial in.

Drop Features

Drop tables allow for gentler adjustments, which is helpful if you have a patient in extreme pain, or a pregnant patient who needs a pelvic adjustment. A drop table will offer either manual or automatic drops. A manual drop table will be less expensive, but will require a bit of finesse to adjust the drop depth. Automatic drops can be set and reset quickly at the press of a button or a quick tap of a foot switch, saving time and preventing strain injuries to the chiropractor.

Traction

Traction features allow for decompression to treat challenging joint and disc conditions. Flexion (including lateral flexion), rotation, and extension won’t always be necessary, but it’s vital to have these functions on call for the patients who need them.

Portability

Portable chiropractic tables come in a number of configurations, and may be worth considering for some practices. If you’ve ever wanted to bring your healing touch to patients who couldn’t visit you in your office or to set up shop at a pop-up health clinic where volunteer doctors serve disadvantaged communities, portable tables are an excellent fit even if they lack some of the complex features found in stationary tables.

Sourcing Medical Equipment in Michigan

These features make a difference for chiropractors, but they also improve patient outcomes. They’re not a replacement for your education and experience, but they do help you put both to their best use, which in the end is the best argument to err on the side of more and better features. Great Lakes Imaging will account for your unique approach to your patients, then match you to the proper equipment that aligns with your needs and values. There’s an old saying that reminds us, “People may not remember what you said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.” Your patients may not remember to heed every bit of advice you give them, from proper stretching to ample hydration, taking quality supplements, exercising, or quitting smoking. But when you solve their problems — restoring function, increasing mobility, alleviating pain, and improving their quality of life — they’ll remember that, and when a friend or family member is experiencing difficulties, you can bet your name will be top of mind. How can Great Lakes Imaging help you? Call us today to find out!

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ACL Tear Treatment: Not One Size Fits All Diagnoses

ACL Tear Treatment: Not One Size Fits All Diagnoses

The anterior cruciate ligament is 1 of 4 ligaments in your knee. When it’s over-stretched, or if it tears, the resultant injury can be excruciatingly painful. Although women are statistically more likely to suffer an ACL injury, they can happen to anyone at practically any time; as more kids take up organized sports, and as seniors stay active well into their golden years, ACL tears are becoming common across a wide range of demographics. As Dr. Andrew Cosgarea of Johns Hopkins found over years of practice, the old approach of age-based treatment was falling short in serving this increasingly diverse population; his experience, and that of a growing number of orthopedists, suggests that treatment should be individualized to the patient, whether it’s surgery or a more conservative approach combining modalities like physical therapy and orthopedic equipment.

Step One: The Diagnosis

ACL tear diagnosis should, of course, be done as soon as possible after the injury occurs. While a Lachman test is considered the gold standard for diagnosis, a follow-up via MRI is often common, or may be requested by the patient’s insurance company as a confirmation. Diagnostic criteria are consistent regardless of the patient’s age, gender, or medical history. However, once we move from diagnosis to treatment, we begin to see some changes emerge.

Step Two: Approaches to Treatment

Until fairly recently, the approach to treating an ACL tear was based on the patient’s age. The emerging treatment model still accounts for age, but shifts focus to the patient’s activity levels and desired outcomes. Even though the steps taken are similar in their broad strokes, patient history and needs will often dictate shifts in emphasis when choosing treatments and carrying out long-term care. 

The reason for an individualized approach is simple. The needs of a teenager who’d like to get back to her soccer team as soon as possible will be different than those of a woman with kids, which will in turn be different from those of a senior citizen concerned with getting groceries to her second-floor walkup. And each of them will have different needs and expectations than a man in his early sixties who’d like to get back to his morning walks around the neighborhood, but who won’t be competing in the high jump any time soon.

So what treatments are available?

More conservative approaches, like a knee brace, physical therapy, or occupational therapy will be fine for individuals who are only concerned with basic day-to-day activities like walking, cleaning, and laundry, and are tolerated reasonably well by many individuals. Surgical procedures are called for when activity levels and concomitant strain placed on the knee are higher. An autograft, which replaces the ACL with tendons from the hamstring or patella, helps in this regard. However, if those methods don’t bring relief — or if a prior ACL surgery has failed — an allograft may be called for instead.

A Thought in Closing

The treatment modalities outlined above don’t always break down as cleanly as we’ve listed them. Indeed, it’s far more common to progress through the steps, or for different treatment modalities to support and reinforce one another. For instance, a brace can aid in a comfortable recovery, and PT and OT are common post-surgery to help patients regain mobility, strength, and function, especially when a patient has delayed in seeking treatment. So a careful approach is called for, combining patient consultation, appropriate treatment, and of course, the right orthopedic equipment from Great Lakes Imaging.

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Repair or Replace Clinical Equipment? Hire a Professional to Find Out!

Repair or Replace Clinical Equipment

Your practice is well-respected in your community. That’s understandable, since you’re the first place people turn to when something goes wrong. But where do you turn when you’re the one who needs help? We don’t just mean life’s aches and pains; we mean the pain points of your practice, not least of which is the breakdowns suffered by clinical equipment and the slowdowns they cause in your office. When treatment or diagnostic equipment isn’t performing 100%, you’re not either. But before you shudder at replacement cost, find out whether medical equipment repair from Great Lakes Imaging is a viable option. 

On-Site Clinical Equipment Repairs

Our goal, like yours, is to keep your practice running with minimal disruptions. That’s why our medical equipment technicians arrive with manuals, tools, and parts in tow so that most repairs can be handled in your office, getting you back up and running at full capacity quickly. Whether it’s keeping your equipment sanitary with intact cushions, ensuring that the motor runs quietly, or ensuring that all parts have their intended range of motion, we’ve got you covered.

Off-Site Clinical Equipment Repairs

On the other hand, after a consultation, you may decide that having our team on-site could interrupt the flow of your practice. Or there may be cases in which the repairs needed for your treatment equipment — such as your HYLO or decompression table — are better handled in our in-house workshop in Michigan. If that’s the case, don’t worry; we turn repairs around quickly, and your equipment will return to you in like-new condition.

X-Ray Calibrations

Precision matters in practically everything you do, but nowhere is it more important than in imaging. When you’re working with radioisotopes, it’s vital to get the right exposure the first time, not only to ensure an accurate diagnosis but also to minimize exposure for patients and staff alike. Because of the half-life of radioactive elements, x-ray machines lose effectiveness over time and need to be calibrated. Your equipment should be inspected and calibrated biannually. We will provide you with a full report so you understand the nature of the work we’ve done.

Clinical Equipment Maintenance

Sometimes the best way to address the “repair or replace” question is to punt. Mind you, we don’t mean ignoring your equipment. Instead, we suggest paying it closer attention. Timely maintenance is quick, easy, and inexpensive. It’s also the best way we know to stave off repairs, minimizing downtime for your equipment and your practice alike.

Working with Great Lakes Imaging

Back to our original question: repair or replace? We find that a conservative approach works best. Equipment maintenance should always be your first choice, since it’s less expensive both in the short term and in terms of the money saved in repairs later. That said, age takes its toll, so even well-maintained equipment can suffer breakdowns. We suggest repairs in most cases, but you may also find that the cost of certain repairs (or their frequency, if it’s a piece you’ve used for many years) dictates that replacement makes more sense.  

More than a medical equipment supply company, Great Lakes Imaging provides medical equipment repair to the Great Lakes region. We serve orthopedists, chiropractors, vets, and a host of other medical practices. And we travel. Our service area covers our home state of Michigan, but if you’re located in Indiana or Ohio, we’re just a phone call away. So get in touch to cover all your diagnostic and treatment equipment needs!

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Five Radiology Tips for Veterinarians

Five Radiology Tips for Veterinarians

Radiology fulfills a number of functions in veterinary practice. Beyond the obvious uses of diagnostic imaging equipment, it’s useful to remember that X-rays are an important profit center in many practices. That is, of course, contingent on getting it right; radiographic faults, as the industry resource Vet Times reminds us, can be a source of frustration, misdiagnoses, and lost profits. With that in mind, Great Lakes Imaging has some simple tips to help you get it right.

Ensure Proper Positioning

Modern medical imaging equipment provides better resolution than ever before, allowing vets to identify and treat common (and uncommon) medical problems and improve outcomes. But your diagnostic tools rely on their operator and the diagnostician, so ensure that you’re positioning the patient properly for the region in question and making enough images for a proper diagnosis to be possible. With patience, it’s possible to get it right the first time and cut down on the number of retakes that are necessary.

Use Proper Restraints

It’s hard enough to get a proper exposure on a cooperative human subject. It’s harder still for technicians working with animals who are in unfamiliar surroundings, and who are being handled by someone who—no matter how professional, caring, and gentle—is unfamiliar to them. Using manual restraint or sandbags can be helpful in this regard. However, if you’re dealing with an animal that’s anxious or agitated, a mild sedative can be an even bigger help. It’s not enough to get the animal into position, after all; keeping them in position long enough for a series of proper exposures will lead to less anxiety for all involved (including you).

Reduce Exposure

Nobody wants to be their own nightlight. A single x-ray isn’t harmful for the patient or the person administering it. But technicians typically take hundreds per year, so anything that decreases exposure—from proper protection to not taking unnecessary X-rays—should be embraced.

Ensure Proper Protection

Speaking of proper protection, your approach should be twofold. On the one hand, proper medical radiation shielding in its many forms (stationary and mobile barriers, lead walls, lead glass, and lead curtains) is an absolute necessity. So too, however, is personal protective equipment, including lead aprons and gloves, glasses, and other gear that protects your staff. That said, there’s also no substitute for care or common sense; these protective measures are designed to minimize exposure to excess background radiation, not from exposure to a direct beam.

Proper Maintenance Matters

PPE is not the only means at your disposal to limit exposure to radiation. Proper maintenance of durable medical equipment like your shielding and X-ray machine are also vital. Something as simple—and too often, overlooked—as proper collimation limits accidental exposure. It has follow-on effects, too, since a properly collimated machine provides more accurate dosing and higher image quality. Ensure that your equipment is maintained on schedule and checked constantly for any signs of trouble.

Running a veterinary practice is as challenging as it is rewarding. For help meeting the challenges to maximize the rewards, get in touch with Great Lakes Imaging. We’re more than an inventory of veterinary equipment for sale—we offer advice and solutions that help from day to day.